A letter from a Pine Journal reader last week was spot on. Disappointed that neither our writers had covered a public meeting March 13 on the proposed Sandpiper oil pipeline, she called us out for missing the meeting and, worse yet, not doing any follow up coverage.*
The truth is, somehow, we didn’t know about the meeting, which occurred at the Carlton County Transportation Building and was attended by more than 150 people.
And that happens sometimes, especially in a world where newspapers are making less money, and therefore have fewer staff members.
That’s where readers come in.
We want you to call us out when we miss things. Better yet, we want you to call us when there’s something important coming up that you think is important we cover. Ideally, we can let people know it’s happening in advance so they can go, and let those who couldn’t make it know what they missed after the fact.
Admittedly, even when something doesn’t fall through the cracks, sometimes we can’t get there. So we try to work with readers in creative ways to cover things. Maybe it’s just a photo, or perhaps it’s a few lines in the calendar or in an editorial. Other times that means putting them to work … on what we hope is a labor of love.
Perhaps you’ve noticed the education pages over the past two weeks, featuring area students who — like four of our basketball teams recently — made it to State this year, albeit for their academic prowess rather than their athletic abilities. The bulk of the information for those pages was provided by proud teachers and mentors, who emailed notices and photos and were willing to spend a little extra time writing or answering email questions to make sure their students were recognized.
We love photos. We appreciate those willing to share adorable photos of cute kids and pets, beautiful nature photos (yes, Dan Malkovich has mastered the art of photographing Jay Cooke Park) or, in the case of this week, who respond to a call on our Facebook page for pictures of the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile … I know, how could we have missed the Weinermobile?
Most of our photos of the Cloquet High School Nordic Ski team this year were provided by parents, which was wonderful. It truly is heart warming to know that there are people out there who care enough to go an extra step to send photos to the paper, as well as post them to their own favored social media site.
So, we’d like to invite you to not only read our newspaper, we’d like to invite you to participate in making our award-winning weekly newspaper even better by contributing to it. Call us with ideas. Write letters to the editor. Send feature photos and funny stories and team pictures of young and old and their accomplishments.
Send it by US Postal Service, email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or text message 218-213-1231. Stop in the office at 122 Avenue C. What we can’t run in the newspaper, we can likely find a place for on our website or our Facebook page.
It takes a village to make a newspaper, but a newspaper can make a community stronger, too. It’s a symbiotic relationship that benefits both. So please join us, if you’d like.
~ Jana Peterson
*We did run a story, belatedly, on the Sandpiper meeting after receiving the letter.